Mbeki and Malema bromance

2011-06-09 00:00

A BROMANCE is a close but non-sexual relationship between two (or more) men.

Does Julius Malema regret supporting Jacob Zuma over Thabo Mbeki?

Does Malema miss Mbeki? Or are the things he is saying a reflection of what some in the ANC are thinking? Maybe the ANC actually misses the former president and Malema is just the man with balls big enough to say his name in public repeatedly.

It seems there has been a shyness and reluctance to mention the name of the former president ever since Zuma defeated him in Polokwane those many moons ago. Of course, Malema is not one given to shyness.

That awkward moment when Malema said: "Mbeki is the best leader the ANC has ever produced … the most educated and clever," while Zuma is still president, happened on Sunday.

There is nothing new in Malema publicly sharing his bromantic feelings for Mbeki. On October 30, 2009 in Mthatha, Malema compared Mbeki to the likes of Oliver Tambo, Nelson Mandela and Walter Sisulu. So it surprises me when people are shocked when he heaps praise on Mbeki. He has probably mentioned Mbeki's name more often than Zuma's in public.

When the Young Communist League said that Mbeki should be prosecuted for his government's failure to provide South Africans with life-saving anti-

retroviral drugs in 2009,

Malema jumped to the former president's defence saying: "That will never happen. If there are those harbouring those interests then you must know that we are going to part ways. You will never touch one of our own.'' He then went further to say: "He tried to provide solutions to the problem of HIV and Aids. He said what he said in trying to find solutions to the problem."

Some people called Malema an opportunist when he said that Mbeki is the best leader the ANC has ever produced. Ironically, Malema said this while the man he helped replace Mbeki is still in power. The knives are out for Zuma and Malema is not afraid of showing them and sharpening them in public. The ANC will elect a new national executive committee and possibly a new president in 2012. Are these Malema's first warning shots to Zuma?

Maybe Malema is very unsubtly saying: "I made you, bitch. And I can undo you."

Malema is clearly going to be re-elected ANCYL president this month. He has taken down one president of the ANC, and he probably feels that if he can take down "the most educated and clever" ANC president, he can certainly take down a not-so-educated one.

Perhaps Malema is frustrated by not knowing where this president stands. Zuma has been at the helm of the country for more than two years now and we still don't know what he stands for. We knew Mandela stood for national reconciliation. Mbeki stood for economic liberation and Africa determining its own future.

Maybe Zuma really was the accidental president. He is not a bad leader. Maybe he has a lot of self-doubt because of the manner in which he came into power. The people who put him there can easily take him down. I like Zuma as a person and I bet one could learn a lot from him. You don't get to where Zuma is by being an idiot. No, sir. There are many people who aspire to be president, and he is one in 49 million who actually became one. Don't underestimate this man. Yes, you too Malema. Don't underestimate him.

But one more thing, Mr President, please let us know what you stand for. Unfortunately, many people seem to think you stand for the enrichment of your family. Your legacy depends on a vision you pronounce for the nation you lead. We're waiting. — News 24.com

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